- Lift with your back. Bending at the waist to pick up a child, groceries, or even reaching down for a bag or purse puts 10 times more stress into your low back than if you were to bend at the knees.
- Skip water, drink only (mostly) coffee, tea or soda. The discs in our spines act as cushions (or shock absorbers) and support the weight of our body. They are made up of proteins, cartilage and water. Staying dehydrated (instead of getting the ½ ounce water for every lb body weight) often contributes or even causes low back pain.
- Sleep on your stomach. When sleeping on your stomach, your head is propped back with a pillow and rotated to the side, twisting your body into an abnormal, stressful posture.
- Crack your own back. Twisting and cracking (anything you can) your own neck or back can set you up for not only pain, but injury and excessive aging in your spine.
- Do not get your spine checked. Just like skipping the dentist and not taking care of your teeth can lead to cavities, you can be assured that never getting a spinal “checkup” could potentially lead to “hidden” problems (just like cavities can be “hidden”) surfacing later on in life. Ever heard, “Only brush the teeth you want to keep”?. The same thing goes for the bones in your spine. Take care of the ones you want to keep.
Written by Dr. Heather Yost
Provided for Urbandale Living Magazine (April 2011)